ATLANTA, GA – The Atlanta Silverbacks will take on the Puerto Rico Islanders this Friday, September 19th in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico (15-6-7) sits atop the league and is unbeaten in their last 10 games. The Islanders have all but locked up the top seed in the USL-1 playoffs, with just two games to go in their season.
Atlanta (8-11-9) has had much success against the Islanders in recent history, including going 4-0-1 against them in the team’s previous five matchups. As well, the ‘Backs have not dropped a game to the Islanders since the home opener of the 2006 season, yielding an eight-game unbeaten streak.
(Photo Caption: Atlanta forward Aaron Paye will look to spark the Silverback offense. Photo by Ron Holt).
Yet, the Islanders of the 2008 season have proven themselves a force to be reckoned with; the team leads the league in goals scored with 42, and also leads in goals allowed with 22. Thirteen different players have scored for Puerto Rico this year, and six players have registered four or more goals.
Atlanta will be coping with the loss of Macoumba Kandji for the season, after he was loaned to the New York Red Bulls (MLS). Injuries have plagued the red-and-black this year, but Atlanta still can control fate if they can earn some tough points on the road.
The Minnesota Thunder currently sit in seventh place, while Atlanta is in eighth place. The top seven teams will make the USL-1 playoffs, and the Silverbacks trail the Thunder by three points. Minnesota has one game left in the season, while Atlanta has two.
For Atlanta to make the playoffs, the Silverbacks will have to win one of their final two games to tie or pass Minnesota in points. In the event of a tie, the Silverbacks would earn the postseason berth due to their head-to-head results against the Thunder. Yet, if Minnesota wins its final game, Atlanta will need two consecutive victories to make the playoffs.
If the Carolina RailHawks can win their final two games, Atlanta would need at least four points in the final two matches.
However, Atlanta has not been able to win a game since August 5th; the ‘Backs have gone just 0-6-3 in the last nine games. The ‘Backs will need a strong effort to put themselves in the playoff mix.
The weekend’s slate of games should provide a much clearer playoff picture and make for some very entertaining soccer in the final games of the season.
For more information, please call 1-866-GO-BACKS or visit www.atlantasilverbacks.com.